Last updated on: 4/23/2008 | Author:

What Is the Origin of Palestinian Nationalism?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)


This site was archived on Aug. 3, 2021. The two-state solution is no longer the most popular solution among the jurisdictions involved. A reconsideration of the topic is possible in the future.

Rashid Khalidi, PhD, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, in his 1997 book Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, wrote:

“Under the impact of rapid, momentous, and unsettling changes during the period from the outset of World War I to some time early on in the British mandate for Palestine, at the outside in 1922 or 1923, the sense of political and national identification of most politically conscious, literate, and urban Palestinians underwent a sequence of major transformations. The end result was a strong and growing national identification with Palestine, as the Arab residents of the country increasingly came to ‘imagine’ themselves as part of a single community…In succeeding decades, this identification with Palestine was to be developed and refined significantly, as Palestinian nationalism grew and developed.”


Deborah J. Gerner, PhD, Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas, in her 1994 book One Land, Two Peoples: The Conflict Over Palestine, wrote:

“During most of the 1800s, the political identity of the people of Palestine was of several overlapping types: a commitment to local Arab leadership; awareness of the distant rule of the Ottoman Turks; and a growing but still diffuse sense of connection with the larger Arab community. For Muslim Palestinians, there was also a sense of belonging to the Islamic millet, but because the Ottoman Turks were also Muslims, this did not serve to differentiate the Palestinian Arabs as a national group. Initially, Palestinians were part of the general movement of Arab nationalism that engulfed the Levant. With the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and the division of the Levant into areas of French and British control, Arab hopes of a Greater Syria encompassing the entire Levant region were quashed, and a separate Palestinian national identity, which was already present, began to flourish.”